On October 16th, Benjamin Maxwell, left his home and family for two years to serve a mission in San Jose, California.

As a missionary: He will teach of Jesus Christ and His gospel. He will have doors slammed in his face and be yelled at. He will meet people from all walks of life. He will stretch himself. He will learn about himself. He will learn of his Heavenly Father's love for him and for all His children. He will learn to follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost. He will serve the people of San Jose. And he will LOVE more than he though possible.

Monday, October 13, 2014

This is my last email home in the first year of my mission!

Aloha family and friends!

    How has the week been? Incredible is right! What a wonderful week full of tender mercies. I have learned so much this week and I have had some of the most amazing and uplifting memories!

  We had another ZTM (zone training meeting) this week. This time we wanted to really inspire the zone and to build them all up and get them excited to close off the year with a bang! We did a lot of praying this past week asking God  what we needed to do to help the zone and we came up with a very inspired plan. We have set a goal as a zone to  help 70 people enter the waters of baptism in this year and our zone year to date is 44. So we have three months to get about 30 baptisms. We thought, how are we ever going to do that? It seems like so much! But then we broke it down. We looked at our zone. We have 15 companionships in our zone. With three months left and only 5 current baptism dates set we saw that if by the end of the month every companionship had one baptism date for November then when November comes and goes each companionship will have gotten 1 baptism and then during the month of November each companionship sets a new baptism date for December. We focused it all on working together as a zone. How we should be building each other up and helping everyone achieve this goal as a team rather than as individuals. Everyone got super excited and super amped to get to work and hit our goal that seemed so far away but when looking at it from a team perspective became very realistic. I am really  excited to see how fast the work picks up here in the stake. We talked with the stake president and had him pass our goal on to all the bishops who will pass it on through ward councils so that not only are we working towards this goal as a zone but the members are all involved and are getting fired up because they are helping active goals! What an incredible plan! I know that it was not by my own inspiration that we came up with this. I am continually amazed at how the Lord will help us in any way we need when it is in line with his will. Miracles can happen today!

    We got to go to the temple again this week and what an amazing day that was. Perfect weather, beautiful drive, and such an amazing spirit. I miss being able to go to the temple all the time. The temple is the best. I am so grateful for the two opportunities that I get each year. They have become very valuable times for me. What an amazing place to have questions answered and the spirit and love of God poured out on you. Just like those good old dryer hugs! I haven't had one of those in a long time. After we went through the temple we went to a place called Fentons. If you have ever seen the movie Up, it is the ice cream place that is in the background at the end of the movie when they are counting reds and blues. So I can say that I have eaten there now. Their ice cream is super good too. Just in case you were wondering. I had a lady tell me on Tuesday that I was too skinny and I needed to eat ice cream more. Every day for the rest of the week I somehow got offered ice cream after every single dinner. I only turned it down once. I still don't think it will be enough to help me put on weight. I eat a ton of food.  And I'm still the skinny missionary that left a year ago. Which reminds me...

   This is my last email home in the first year of my mission! When I write again I will be on the downward slope. The backside of the mountain. Always picking up more speed! That amazes me. 1 year has come and gone. Now we will all just do it one more time and then I'll be on a plane home. It's coming very, very quickly. I am feeling emotions of excitement and nervousness and possibly sadness. It will definitely be a bitter sweet moment when it comes around.

  We also got to see that new movie Meet the Mormons. They had a special showing for just us missionaries on Thursday so we packed the chapel and watched a movie Thursday morning. That was strange but good. I love the movie! Awesome, very well done. I hope that it is a big hit because it would definitely open people's hearts. We got to watch a clip by Elder Holland before we watched it and he explained the churches intentions for it. He said that the movie was not s way for the church to make money. All profit goes to the Red Cross. He also said that it is not a proselyting tool, it is a way for people to understand some of the simple ways of a Mormon lifestyle. Very very good. Go see it of you can. If you can't it will be put on Netflix in a while and it will also be showed in visitor centers for church sites. There are plenty of those around home! 

  We also got an announcement from the president that we will be getting internet proselyting training starting in the beginning of November and we will be getting iPads at the end of November so I will be needing to get $400 to pay for it when the time comes but that will be a good thing for me to get because I need to spend my money more wisely! :) oops! That means the Christmas Skype will probably be from my own iPad and maybe I will even be emailing from it pretty soon here...

  Long email full of goodies and love. I hope you all enjoyed it and maybe learned something as you read. I love you all with the faculty of my whole soul. You are all amazing and I am so glad that I get to spend this time serving the Lord and hopefully sending blessings and experiences your way! Have a great week!

  Happy birthday to mom on Saturday! Hopefully my letter makes it on time. I mailed it today! I send you my love and birthday wishes. Don't turn too old this year! For your next birthday I'll be coming home! Exciting!

With utmost respect, and a whole lot of love!
                       Elder Maxwell

No comments:

Post a Comment